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‘Scottish independence makes no economic sense’, say finance professionals

THERE IS NO economic or financial case for an independent Scotland, according to more than two thirds of finance professionals in the UK.

Research conducted by accountancy and finance recruiter Marks Sattin found 68% of finance professionals practising across the UK believe that Scottish independence makes no economic or financial sense. By comparison, only one in ten (11%) agree with the financial arguments put forward for Scottish independence and a fifth (22%) remain undecided on the issue.

It is estimated 165,000 people work currently employed in financial services in Scotland, equating to 7.6% of Scotland’s total workforce, contributing 12% towards its gross value added – the economic value of goods and services produced.

The research also found the number of financial services jobs in Scotland has grown by nearly a quarter (23%) since 2007 – a growth rate of 6% per year. Financial services jobs in the UK have increased by only a fifth (20%) over the same period.

Several significant financial institutions including RBS, Lloyds and Edinburgh-based pensions provider Standard Life all preparing for moves south of the border in the face of financial uncertainty caused by potential independence.

Dave Way, managing director of Marks Sattin said: “Scotland’s financial services sector has clearly thrived in recent years, increasing by a quarter since 2007. While the tangible impact of an independent Scotand remains to be seen, there are clearly question marks shrouding the potential impact on financial services and the prospects for continued growth.

“On the other hand a ‘yes’ vote will inevitably usher in radical changes in terms of currency, interest and exchange rates and wider business finance. The challenge of setting out Scotland’s stall as an independent nation would call for significant fiscal and monetary expertise, not to mention fundamental leadership and change management skills.”

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